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Buddhism and Subjective Wellbeing: Do Self-Esteem, Optimism and Perceived Control Play a Role?

DOI: 10.4236/jss.2015.39001    3,637 Downloads   4,093 Views   Citations


This study investigated the relationship between Buddhism and subjective wellbeing within the theoretical framework of a revised homeostatic model of subjective wellbeing (SWB). This model integrates the affective (homeostatically protected mood: content, happy and excited), cognitive (self-esteem, optimism and perceived control: primary control and secondary control) and experiential factors in relating to SWB. Given that the religious doctrine of Buddhism advocates selflessness and self-attained liberation from suffering, it is predicted that, among the cognitive factors, primary control and optimism will predict more significant SWB variance beyond the other homeostatic model factors than self-esteem. Additionally, compared with those without religious belief, the Buddhists would be higher in SWB, primary control and optimism, but lower in self-es- teem. Chinese samples were drawn in Hong Kong comprising 153 Buddhists and 240 participants without religious belief. Through the use of questionnaire, it was found that, quite contrary to prediction, secondary control and self-esteem explained significant SWB variance for the Buddhists while none was provided by primary control and optimism. Also, no significant intergroup difference was found on SWB and all cognitive factors. The results were discussed in terms of difficulty in the eradication of egocentric mentality.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Lai, L. (2015) Buddhism and Subjective Wellbeing: Do Self-Esteem, Optimism and Perceived Control Play a Role?. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/jss.2015.39001.


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